What secondary school career advisors in New Zealand Know about pharmacy and how that knowledge affects student career choices

Am J Pharm Educ. 2015 Feb 17;79(1):07. doi: 10.5688/ajpe79107.


Objective: To explore what career advisors at secondary schools (high schools) in New Zealand know about the pharmacy profession, how they obtain that knowledge, and what their potential influence is on students' decisions to study pharmacy.

Methods: This study employed a cross sectional questionnaire design. A postal questionnaire was sent to 250 randomly selected secondary schools in New Zealand.

Results: The response rate was 112/248 (45%). Responding career advisors were familiar with many of the roles of pharmacists (mean knowledge score 11.5 out of 16). Over 90% of career advisors were familiar with the roles of pharmacists in the community setting; however, many had a poorer understanding of other pharmacist roles. One suggestion for improving the promotion of pharmacy within secondary schools was a greater involvement of pharmacists and pharmacy students in the promotion of pharmacy as a profession.

Conclusion: Career advisors need a broader understanding of the potential roles of pharmacists. Increasing contact from practicing pharmacists and undergraduate pharmacy students are potential ways of increasing student interest in pharmacy.

Keywords: career advisors; career choice; education; pharmacy.

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Pharmacy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knowledge*
  • Male
  • New Zealand
  • Pharmacy
  • Schools*
  • Schools, Pharmacy
  • Students, Pharmacy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vocational Guidance*